Proper lighting in sports is critical, especially in hockey. Hockey can be a dangerous game, from the sharp skates to the heavy pucks and hard-hitting player collisions. Not only is proper lighting important for the safety of players, but it can also reduce the hefty price tag that comes with lighting up an entire rink. Good lighting also enhances the overall feel for players and fans, creating a more enjoyable experience.
First, let’s talk about the kind of lighting best suited for hockey rinks. LED luminaires are the best option for lighting in most, if not all circumstances where lighting is needed. This is especially true for sports lighting since the game depends on how well lit a stadium or rink is. Sports LEDs are tough and build to withstand harsh weather so even in outside areas, the lighting is durable and won’t be negatively impacted by repeated exposure to rain, snow, and other elements. On the other side of the spectrum regarding the elements, sports LEDs are also built to withstand extreme temperatures. Passive cooling technology allows for a longer life expectancy and helps the LEDs stand up to hotter climates.
Sports LEDs can typically be controlled wirelessly. This allows for an easier way to turn luminaires on and off. Some may even have the option of controlling just a few of the luminaires or a group of luminaires so you can brighten or dull areas as needed. Most of these can be controlled from any device, from phones to laptops. They can also be managed with or without a wi-fi connection.
LEDs perform much better than traditional fluorescent lighting used in some rinks. LEDs offer a glare-free experience where fluorescents may not and they are also more energy-efficient, reducing the overall cost to operate the hockey rink.
Hockey games come with the potential for avoidable injuries. Proper lighting for hockey rinks is crucial for the safety of referees and players. If a hockey rink is not well lit, it can make it difficult to see the puck. Hockey pucks are a hazard to players and spectators alike. Matter of fact, there have been several lawsuits from spectators due to injuries sustained in a hockey arena. A hockey puck can cause minor injuries such as fracturing a finger, all the way up to potentially deadly brain injuries if someone were to be struck in the head. Using proper lighting gives players and fans an advantage so they can clearly see where the puck is at all times and take measures to avoid it if an accident were to occur.
Improper lighting can cause glares to reflect off the ice, making it difficult for players to perform their best. Not only could a glare off the ice affect the players, but glares could make it less enjoyable for fans to watch.
Nobody wants to pay for tickets to a game they struggle to watch due to improper lighting. By using proper lighting in hockey rinks, spectators can enjoy the game thoroughly. Dull lighting can make it difficult for fans to watch plays, resulting in an experience that is boring and unenjoyable.
Other types of luminaires may cast shadows onto the rink where LEDs provide a wide coverage, illuminating the entire rink without shadows.
Operating a hockey rink is a hefty expense, from paying for cleanups and maintenance to the utility bills that come along with it. Improper lighting can raise energy costs significantly, making it harder to maintain the upkeep.
LEDs only produce 5% of their waste as heat, converting 95% of the energy to light. Since heat in hockey rinks is bad, HVAC units are used to maintain a proper temperature. With LEDs producing such little heat, there is less need to run HVAC units, resulting in lower energy costs.
Proper lighting for hockey rinks reduces maintenance costs for the luminaires. LEDs are low maintenance, high-quality luminaires that can last years even in harsh climates. You can expect most LEDs to last 60,000 hours or more. This number may not seem like much but take into consideration how difficult it would be to constantly fix and replace luminaires that are 20 feet or higher off the ground.
Hockey is an enjoyable game but seeing a game in person at a rink with improper lighting can put a damper on the whole experience. By ensuring proper lighting is used for hockey rinks, it not only creates a better experience for fans but also increases player and fan safety. Another reason proper lighting is so important is because of the already high cost to maintain a hockey rink. Proper lighting lowers maintenance and energy costs, lowering the overall budget needed to maintain the rink.
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